Primordial Gravitational Waves and Cosmology

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Science  21 May 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5981, pp. 989-992
DOI: 10.1126/science.1179541

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The observation of primordial gravitational waves could provide a new and unique window on the earliest moments in the history of the universe and on possible new physics at energies many orders of magnitude beyond those accessible at particle accelerators. Such waves might be detectable soon, in current or planned satellite experiments that will probe for characteristic imprints in the polarization of the cosmic microwave background, or later with direct space-based interferometers. A positive detection could provide definitive evidence for inflation in the early universe and would constrain new physics from the grand unification scale to the Planck scale.

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